A new three-year project from HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust will provide a blueprint for charities who want to get people more involved in their work.
The £1.1 million investment from the Big Lottery Fund, will allow the project to take ‘nothing about us without us’ to a whole new level. It will answer the question of how to genuinely involve beneficiaries and those with lived experience across an entire organisation.
Drawing on advice from all sectors, the charity will bring together innovative approaches to ensure it is delivering activities that reflect the changing needs of the people it works for.
The new project has a strong digital focus and will use social marketing techniques to reach people who wouldn’t ordinarily engage.
This programme will drive forward Terrence Higgins Trust’s work to end new HIV transmissions, support people to live well with HIV and ensure good sexual health is a right and reality for all.
Ian Green, Chief Executive at Terrence Higgins Trust, said:
Meaningful engagement across all areas of an organisation is never the easy option or the quick one, but it’s of vital importance in ensuring what you’re doing is what you should be doing. This is not something Terrence Higgins Trust has always got right. We know, however, it is crucial if we are to adapt and respond to the fast-paced changing needs of people now and in the future.
HIV has changed faster than almost any other health condition. In just over two decades, effective treatment means a HIV diagnosis has gone from a virtual death sentence to a manageable long-term condition when diagnosed early.
We look forward to learning with all sectors to innovate and test out new ways to properly involve our beneficiaries. It is only with them that we can ensure that what we do is fit for purpose and reflects what is needed in 2019 and beyond.
The charity was set up in 1982 following the death of its namesake Terry Higgins, who was one of the very first to die of an AIDS-related illness in the UK. It’s hoped this project will ensure the charity is always meeting the needs of people affected by HIV and poor sexual health.
James Harcourt from the Big Lottery Fund, said:
People understand what’s needed in their communities better than anyone else, that’s why we’re proud National Lottery funding is supporting Terrence Higgins Trust to put those they support in the lead.
It’s great that others in the sector will be able to learn from this project which puts people at the heart of an organisation’s development and delivery, and creates a culture of co-production.
Photo: Terrence Higgins Trust